Credit Associates review
A debt settlement program with positive reviews — but no additional services.
- Best for settling unsecured debt over a short period of time.
- Pick something else if you have under $10,000 in debt.
$10,000 of unsecured debt
24 to 36 months
Fee based on percentage of debt enrolled
National Debt Relief details
|Services||Debt settlement and free phone consultation before you enroll|
|Minimum debt||$10,000 of unsecured debt|
|Typical turnaround||24 to 36 months|
|Fees||Fee based on percentage of debt enrolled|
|Types of debt||Unsecured debt|
|Ratings||BBB rating: B, not accredited; Trustpilot rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars|
|Free resources or tools||Blog on budgeting, debt relief and financial management, basic debt relief calculator. Free phone consultation before you enroll|
|Customer service||Phone, email, Facebook, LinkedIn|
Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 950 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
Credit Associates offers debt settlement services to anyone with unsecured debt. The minimum amount of debt required to enroll is high compared to other debt relief companies. But its also one of the quickest programs out there — many take up to four years to complete, while Credit Associates can take as few as two years.
If you’re looking for services beyond debt settlement, this may not be the company for you. Other than a blog on the basics of budgeting and financial assistance, it’s relatively bare bones compared to other debt relief providers.
How does Credit Associates work?
Credit Associates negotiates down unsecured debts with your creditors in exchange for a one-time lump sum repayment. Typically this process takes between two and three years. After you enroll, you'll make monthly repayments toward a special purpose savings account, which Credit Associates will use to pay off your creditors.
How much does it cost?
Credit Associates charges a fee based on the amount of deb enrolled after you've settled. But it doesn't disclose the exact rate online, and wasn't provided when we spoke to a representative on the phone. Ultimately this program is designed to help you save — if you see it through.
When you enroll, you're required to make monthly payments toward a special purpose savings account. But these tend to be more flexible than debt repayments. There's no penalty for making a partial payment — just give the team a heads up so they know what to expect.
How much could I save with Credit Associates?
Your savings depend on how much debt you enroll. When we spoke with a representative, they estimated that you'd save about $3,400 if you enrolled $10,000 in debt — including fees.
Those savings might not be as big as you expect, since the IRS usually counts settled debt as taxable income if it's over $600. But you may be able to get around it if you're insolvent — when your personal liabilities are greater than the value of your assets. If you think you're insolvent, consider reaching out to a tax advisor to find out what steps to take.
Is Credit Associates legit?
Credit Associates is a member of trade organizations that set the standards for the debt settlement industry. This includes the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) and the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).
On its homepage, you can find a disclosure from the AFCC that breaks down Credit Associate's legal limitations when it comes to negotiating your debt in plain language. This kind of transparency isn't always the case with debt settlement companies.
It also takes steps to protect your information online by using SSL encryption. And it won't give your information away to third parties for marketing purposes without your consent.
What are the pros and cons of Credit Associates?
Credit Associates' program won't be right for everyone. Weigh the pros and cons before you sign up.
- Relatively quick turnaround of 24 to 36 months
- In-house legal experts
- Accredited with main industry associations
- Must have at least $10,000 in debt
- Few services other than debt settlement
- Doesn't disclose costs or potential savings online
Customer reviews and complaints about Credit Associates
|Trustpilot score||4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 5 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||14 September 2020|
Credit Associates gets mostly positive reviews from customers as of September 2020 — though it also has its share of complaints. Over 7,000 customers gave it an excellent 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. It gets a B rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on the fact that it received 33 complaints over the past four years, and the majority of the nine customer reviews on that site are negative.
Most customers praise the quality of service they received through Credit Associates. Many focus on how easy it was to understand how the program worked and how willing the team was to answer questions. Several also mention feeling emotionally relieved after enrolling in the program. The majority of complaints were from people who'd received marketing letters from the company that they thought were suspect.
Compare more debt relief companies
What is Credit Associates?
Credit Associates is a debt settlement company that offers direct negotiations. In states where there are tighter restrictions on debt settlement companies, it uses a team of in-house lawyers to handle negotiations.
It's been around since 2016, according to the BBB — though there isn't much information on its website. Its name has generally stayed out of the headlines, which is typically a good thing when it comes to debt settlement.
How do I get started?
You can sign up for a consultation online or over the phone. Here’s how you can get started online.
- Visit the Credit Associates homepage or select the Go to site button on this page.
- Select the amount of debt you would like to settle and hit Get started.
- Fill out the form with your contact information and hit Request quote.
Wait for an associate to reach out to you to go over your details. If you can’t wait for a phone call, reach out by calling the number on the request form.
I've signed up. What happens next?
After you sign up, you’ll need to start making monthly payments toward a savings account, which Credit Associates will use to pay off your creditors. How much you pay depends on the length of the program you sign up for and the amount of debt you have.
You can make partial payments without paying any fees — just let Credit Associates know ahead of time. You’re still responsible for paying off your creditors to the best of your ability, on top of the debt relief program.
Want to know more before you sign up? Our guide to debt relief details your other options.